ST MATTHEWS, S.C. — May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In St. Matthews, community members saw a need for more mental health support so they're offering a mental health first aid course.
“A few months back, I was actually in attendance to a mental health first aid course myself and in attendance, while being there, I saw the need for it to come into Calhoun County," said St. Matthews Christian Center minister Tammie Wideman.
Wideman says after taking part in a mental health first aid course, she wanted to share what she learned with others. She says much of what she learned has helped her better serve in her role as case manager at the Samaritan House in Orangeburg.
“Issues that I had with one of my residents there, I was able to tell the individual on the crisis line that I am a mental health first aider and that let them know that I know the signs of what I was dealing with and they were able to get help out to us immediately at the shelter," said Wideman.
In collaboration with the National Council of Wellbeing, Orangeburg County Library, Tri County Health Network, and LRADAC, a free course is being offered for adults to help certify mental health first aiders in the community.
After the course, people will be able to recognize symptoms of mental health and substance abuse challenges. They will also learn how to interact with a person in crisis and connect them with help.
“It’s very important that we learn how to approach people that are in crisis and how to approach people that are having mental health issues.”
The course takes place on May 21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the St. Matthews Christian Center.
Registration is open online.